Yesterday, during the 3:00 PM (EDT) hour of The Sean Hannity Show, Jay from Pittsburgh called in to comment on the Trayvon Martin case. After being corrected on two erroneous claims and informed about eye-witness testimony, Jay then offered to add $1000 to the New Black Panther Party’s $10,000 bounty for the capture or killing of George Zimmerman.
Below is a transcript of the conversation that took place between Sean Hannity and Jay from Pittsburgh.
Jay: Let me make a comment in reference to the Black Panther Party – cause I mean they will always try to justify it – the Black Panther Party put up a bounty today for ten thousand dollars. I’ll put a thousand dollars to that just for the simple fact of –
Sean: You want a bounty out on Mr. Zimmerman to kill him?
Jay: Yeah – no, not to kill him but to apprehend him.
Sean: They said they wanted him dead or alive.
Jay: Let me finish so that you don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Not to kill him but to bring him in and bring him in front of our own justice.
Sean: Because – what does your own justice mean? What do you mean by that?
Jay: What our own justice is – we’ll fairly try him with the evidence that shows –
Sean: Who’s – whoa, whoa – who’s “we” will fairly try him?
Jay: The people of the Black Panther Party, the people of the community, cause let me tell you why –
Sean: So – you want, you want – wait
Jay: Let me tell you why –
Sean: No, I’m not going to listen to this because you’re talking about violence here on the program.
As the legal investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death proceeds, new facts are emerging about the events that took place that night. In the aftermath of such an event, it is understandable that people want answers about what happened and whether or not Trayvon Martin’s death could have been prevented. Tensions are high on both sides of the issue as people learn more about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.
In searching for answers, however, we cannot allow one group to resort to vigilante justice. We are a nation of laws not men. The New Black Panther Party is neither a law enforcement organization nor a court of law, yet they seek to apprehend George Zimmerman, “fairly try” him before an illegal court using selective evidence, and then administer their own form of “justice.”
The pursuit of such vigilante justice can be laid squarely at the feet of those who seek to promote hatred and violence as political tools to empower only themselves not those whom they claim to represent. The New Black Panther Party’s $10,000 bounty does not differ substantively from the vigilante “justice” historically administered by the Ku Klux Klan and other hatemongers. The NBPP’s bounty was born of hatred not justice.
Racism was real and tangible to those who lived it and experienced the horrors of burning crosses, vicious beatings, and lynchings. The civil rights movement was not a political tool used to empower a select few or engender hatred and violence. It was hatred and violence the movement sought to overcome.
Let’s not return to an era of hatred and violence. We’ve come too far to overturn the achievements realized by those who sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for civil rights.